“The time is now for health reform,” Sr. Carol Keehan, DC wrote in Catholic Health World:
As I watched our president present his plan to pass the health reform legislation, it was clear this is an historic opportunity to make great improvements in the lives of so many Americans. Is it perfect? No. Does it cover everyone? No. But is it a major first step? Yes.
The insurance reforms will make the lives of millions more secure, and their coverage more affordable. The reforms will eventually make affordable health insurance available to 31 million of the 47 million Americans currently without coverage.
CHA has a major concern on life issues. We said there could not be any federal funding for abortions and there had to be strong funding for maternity care, especially for vulnerable women. The bill now being considered allows people buying insurance through an exchange to use federal dollars in the form of tax credits and their own dollars to buy a policy that covers their health care. If they choose a policy with abortion coverage, then they must write a separate personal check for the cost of that coverage.
Laura Silsby is still in jail because Examining Judge Bernard Saint-Vil has concluded there is evidence of another attempt by her to bus child earthquake survivors to the Dominican Republic on Jan. 26.
Saint-Vil brought the additional charge of “organization of irregular trips” against all 10 Americans, The Laredo Sun reports, “who were arrested in January, even though nine of them have been released on bail and have left the country.”
The Haitian law restricts travel out of Haiti that and was signed in 1980 by then-dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier. It carries a penalty of 3-6 years. The other charges the 10 may face, the Sun reported, are criminal association, with a penalty of 3-15 years, and kidnapping of a minor, with a penalty of 3-9 years.
Silsby was warned repeatedly during the days preceding arrest of the 10 that she was headed for legal difficulty. There was not one orphan, the Associated Press determined, among the 33 children the group was attempting to transport to the Dominican Republic.
Saint-Vil also rejected a petition for bail, and if he completes his investigation next week, as expected, will submit his findings to the attorney general for review. The attorney general will have five working days to return an opinion before Saint-Vil can announce whether he will go to trial.
But also, availability of more accessible health care promises to reduce the number of abortions.
T.R. Reid ["Universal Health Care Tends to Cut the Abortion Rate," Washington Post, 2010.03.14] compared the abortion rate of the United States to the abortion rates of comparable industrial nations which have universal health care, usingUnited Nations data, and found:
The U.N. data measure the number of abortions for women ages 15 to 44. They show that Canada, for example, has 15.2 abortions per 1,000 women; Denmark, 14.3; Germany, 7.8; Japan, 12.3; Britain, 17.0; and the United States, 20.8.
Yes, Britain, where abortion is legal and free. Where “8 percent of the population is Catholic (compared with 25 percent in the United States).” For many reasons, among them better accept to doctor-prescribed contraceptive measures. And as was explained by Cardinal Basil Hume, who when Reid lived in London “was the senior Roman Catholic prelate of England and Wales:”
If that frightened, unemployed 19-year-old knows that she and her child will have access to medical care whenever it’s needed, she’s more likely to carry the baby to term. Isn’t it obvious?
The Senate bill does move us further in that abortion-discouraging direction. For example, it designates more than $7 billion – “$11 billion in the president’s amended version” – for Federally Qualified Health Centers, David Gibson writes as part of a painstaking analysis of the legislation, “to allow them to serve an estimated 15 million more people who do not have adequate health care.” Indeed, “last year health centers provided prenatal, perinatal, and post-natal/post-partum care to 1 of every 8 children born in the U.S.” Without providing any abortions. None, wrote the National Association of Community Health Centers in a recent letter.
The expert analyst to whom we referred above is Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, who holds the Robert L. Willett Family Professorship of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law and is, Mark Silk tells us, “an ardent pro-lifer.” Jost said:
“The bottom line is that health care reform is pro-life,” Jost said. “We’re going to save an awful lot of lives with this bill … I identify as a Christian, strongly, and I identify as someone who believes in the sacredness of life. I just think this is a pro-life bill. I’m really discouraged that people not only don’t want it but also are spreading erroneous information about it. Because I don’t think that’s something that Christians should do.”
Nor do we.